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Josh Hamilton's worst months


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Some look at Josh Hamilton's performance so far as a sign that he's basically kaput, while others say that he's struggled mightily before and will turn it around. But what is the truth? We don't know yet, but one thing we can do - with a bit of detective work - is look at his career splits and see if any months compare to April. So I decided to go through his career, year by year, and pull out his worst months. I'm taking OPS as the determining factor but will include some other data.

 

Here are his four worst months chronologically:

 

Apr/Mar, 2009: 18 games, .242/.282/.379 (.660), 2 HR, 15 Ks

July, 2009: 20 games, .205/.244/.269 (.513), 1 HR, 4 W, 22 Ks

July, 2012: 22 games, .177/.253/.354 (.607), 4 HR, 8 W, 21 Ks

April, 2013: 26 games, .204/252/.296 (.548), 2 HR, 6 W, 32 Ks

 

So the first thing to note is that Josh Hamilton is not quite as streaky as I thought. He's only had four months in 6+ years in which he had an OPS below .700 for the entire month, two of which were in his injury-plagued 2009, by far his worst season (.268/.315/.426 in 89 games).

 

His worst month by OPS is July of 2009, followed by April of 2013. Last July (2012) was quite bad but was followed by a strong August (.943 OPS) and good Sept/Oct (.873).

 

The new few weeks are huge. If he can't pull himself out of this funk he could be headed for his worst season since 2009, perhaps ever. He's just been terrible. But chances are he's going to start hitting, and hitting soon. He's never had two terrible months in a row; Even in 2009 he had a solid May (.841) and then missed a month and a half before that terrible July.

 

So I think the next few weeks will tell us a lot. If he's still Josh Hamilton, he'll start hitting. I think chances are he will, but its hard to imagine the player of the last 30 games being the player with a career .900 OPS hitter that his stat page shows.

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